Landfills

Tennessee landfills approximately 8-9 million tons of solid waste and construction waste a year. The average tipping fee is $35.00 per ton. Collection, hauling, processing, and landfilling averages $110.00 per ton which equals 1.4 billion dollars spent on waste disposal by our local businesses, citizens and local governments.

BURNT’s goal is to substantially reduce the tons of waste landfilled.

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Tennessee is the only state which credits landfilled construction waste as recycled. Tennessee solid waste numbers are extremely inaccurate–Tennessee claims 50% diversion while the Columbia University and Bio-Cycle Magazine 2010 survey of waste by state found that Tennessee diverted 4.74%–a 45% spread! (Tennessean, 22 April 2012) This huge loop hole is symbolic of Tennessee’s solid waste management. Karst terrain covers 2/3 of Tennessee. Many landfills contaminate water. BURNT’s primary efforts are local officials who are beleagured by schools, roads, health, and jails. They do not want another headache. And, the state of Tennessee does little to reduce landfills. Laws and regulations are out-moded and loop hole riddled A one page summary of current rules is attached. “A Summary of Comments” [LINK]” is the Department reaction to public and local government comments. We maintain these comments are riddled with untruths [link] BURNT wrote many letters about the “Waste Reduction Rule” because we know this Rule will govern solid waste in Tennessee for many years. This Rule creates a skewed market. There is no competition with cheap landfill rates and a state government that tolerates pollution of groundwater, green house gasses, and undermining businesses which could use solid waste and construction waste as a raw material. [[[many lettersI suggest linking the letters below with brief explanations]]] Public Chapter 0462 was 2007 llegislation which TDEC was quite untruthful at the final hearing that the language on page 3–4 did not mandate the Solid Waste Control Disposal Board to consider specific factors such as costs, benefits, different regions, and distance from markets. BURNT’s strategy is two pronged. First, demonstrate that jobs and business can be created by recycling and reuse of construction waste. Construction waste is 20% of the waste stream. Second, show that jobs can be created by recycling, and composting food waste, yard waste, and non-recycled paper. Food waste is 14% of the waste stream, yard waste is 13%, and nonrecycled paper is 20%—47% of the 8-9 million tons of waste we landfill. Presently, Tennessee has 70 Class III construction waste landfills and 32 Class I municipal waste landfills. 67% of the waste is construction or organic food-yard-paper waste. [link to US EPA Pie chart] Landfills generate 16% of green house gasses [link to USEPA] The landfill industry pushes “methane mining” [link] but this allows a high p[er cent of methane and other green houses gasses to escape. This is not an elegant solution. Keeping the organic food waste, yard waste, and paper ouot of the landfills prevents damage to the landfills and creates jobs and business and useful product These solutions are incremental. The 10 largest counties in Tennessee (out of 96) contain 50% of the population. By all appearances, it is the ease of local officials and, perhaps, the near cash nature of annual the $1.4 billion revenue which may influence some decisions on disposal. A landfill is either an engineered depression in the ground or a reservoir built on top of the ground into which wastes are disposed. The aim of a landfill, in addition to disposing of waste, is to avoid any water-related connection between the wastes and the surrounding environment, particularly groundwater. In 1987 the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency issued a report that stated “eventually all landfills leak”. A landfill will typically leak in two ways: out the bottom if it is not lined properly or over the top if not covered. Currently the U.S. has 3,091 active landfills and over 10,000 old municipal landfills. Every year, the United States generates approximately 230 million tons of waste – about 4.6 pounds per person per day. Tennessee citizens, businesses and government spend 1.0 billion dollars to landfill 10 million tons of solid waste annually. The U.S. EPA reports that most of the country’s landfills have been closed for one or both of two reasons: (1) they were full; or (2) they were contaminating groundwater. Environmental injustice is demonstrated because most landfills are located in economically depressed areas where poor, rural and minority populations live and work. It is estimated that 70% of the solid waste which is landfilled could be reused or recycled including food waste (14% of waste), yard waste (13%), and non-recycled paper (20%) BURNT works to address these problems by providing education and research to elected state officials, Metro Nashville officials, the State Solid Waste Board, and citizens and leaders of cities in Tennessee affected by landfills. Further, BURNT works to educate citizens, businesses and governments with research on how to manage waste as a raw material for jobs and business.

 

Tennessee Solid Waste

Tennessee Solid Waste The content of Tennessee solid waste is basically the same as the rest of the Country—except for the broken dreams of some Nashville song writers. The difference between national solid waste [see link of EPA pie chart] and Tennessee solid waste is how hard TDEC (Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation) works to support landfills. From false 25% recycling goals for local governments to Class III Construction Waste Landfills which credit landfilled construction waste as recycled to grossly casual regulation of leaking landfills, TDEC has focused on landfills as the solution A KEY indicator—TDEC personnel regularly claim near 50% diversion (20% construction waste, unspecified hazardous waste, and composting.) Link to US EPA pie chart Link to BURNT “Recycling” Link to BURNT “Landfills” Link to “Solid Waste Numbers” Link to past reform and “pending...

Open Letter to AFL-CIO: Jobs and business from solid waste

BURNT IMPROVING THE ENVIRONMENT THROUGH CITIZEN INVOLVEMENT WITH GOVERNMENT, BUSINESS, AND ACADEMIA 12 March 2012 Gary Moore President Tennessee AFL-CIO 1901 Lindell Avenue via electronic mail and hand delivery RE: Jobs and business from solid waste Dear President Moore: Thank you for the opportunity to discuss how to manage solid waste as a raw material to create jobs and business. This is a growth opportunity for clean jobs. Tennessee landfills 11 million tons of waste at a cost to citizens, business, and local government of $1 billion annually. Solid waste is transported 10 million miles annually from cities to landfills. Landfills are our organizing focus. There are fundamental solutions—compost food waste and non-recycled paper, recycle and reuse construction waste, and source separation of food waste in homes and business. Environmental justice is very important—reduce landfills near poor and minority and we create jobs and business for poor and minority. We are active with the NAACP is active on this issue. The logic is very clear—it pays to recycle and compost to recover materials and to recover energy from highly processed solid waste. Labor can lead in management and research. Food waste composting and reuse of construction waste creates jobs. Simple steps such as individual source separation of food waste in residential and business greatly enhance creating new jobs and business. Food waste is valuable as compost material but very harmful if landfilled. Polluted landfills and high hidden costs to landfills are the key to solid waste reform. Our waste is laden with risky chemicals. BURNT offers strong opportunities for solid waste in our work on landfills. On 11-12 April,...

BURNT APPEALS SOLID WASTE STUDY

1 BURNT IMPROVING THE ENVIRONMENT THROUGH CITIZEN INVOLVEMENT WITH GOVERNMENT, BUSINESS, AND ACADEMIA 21 August 2013 Robert T. Lee General Counsel Comptroller of the Treasury Office of General Counsel RE: Request Review RFP 32701-01528; Expert Witness Dear Mr. Lee: BURNT has followed this RFP 32701-0158 closely. We began writing five months ago when this was a “Waste Reduction Plan”. We have continued to point out fundamental non-compliance by TDEC with laws including TCA 68-211-803. TDEC has many skilled managers and staff. However, the vested power and money of a few multinational solid waste companies appears to unduly influence policy. We believe that TDEC RFP 32701-0158 is not valid because 1. the audits of TDEC and the Division of Solid Waste demonstrate that the Comptroller’s Office does not understand the complex issues of managing Tennessee solid waste; 2. TDEC has flagrantly and willfully violated TCA 68-211-803 ‘Public Policy’ since 1991. For 22 years, multiple loop-holes have disguised the high rate of landfilling, water has been polluted, and the public has been injured. Title VI Civil rights Law may have been violated. Tennessee law “…assure[s] that solid waste facilities…do not adversely affect the health, safety and well-being of the public and do not degrade the quality of the environment…” TCA 68-211-803 Since specific, disadvantaged groups including poor, minority, and rural are injured, there may be Tennessee Constitution and Federal Constitution questions. Separation of solid waste management under TCA 68- 211-803 ‘Public Policy’ and landfill regulation and permitting under TCA 68-211-102 may violate statutes and the Tennessee and Federal constitution. 3. An Expert Opinion by Mark Quarles, P.G. [attached, Advisory Committee Letter]...

CURRENT State Law

BURNT burnt615.org 615-327-8515 CURRENT State Law [confirmed by Rule 0400-11-01-09] —The stated goal of this statute is to reduce by 25% the amount of solid waste disposed of at municipal solid waste facilities in December 31 2003. B.) —Three separate methods for local governments to meet the 25% reduction goal– quantitative, qualitative, & economic growth basis. (TCA 69-211-861; p.5-6, #1–#5 A.) calculate 25% reduction per capita B.) economic growth basis (p. 9, #m), C.) lengthy description of ‘Qualitative Assessment Methods’ (p. 9-10— D.) REGIONS use either the 1995 base year or go back to 1985 (pg. 9, #n), NOTE: This Rule continues the credit for landfilling construction waste in Class IV landfills (pg. 9, #L) [only state to do this] NEW [loop-hole] Source Reduction of “municipal solid waste”—allows technical changes in businesses and industry to be counted as waste reduction without documentation Amendments, pg. 5, #6)—WILL THIS BE ACCURATE?—This will lead to more “good” 25% reports . Tennessee landfills are not safe with nearly 3 million tons of organic food waste, yard waste, and non-recycled paper landfilled annually. Major businesses testified at the 10—11 July State Senate Energy Committee hearing that Tennessee business and jobs are hurt by landfilling needed raw materials Tennessee local government reports are based on FALSE NUMBERS 2010 Bio-Cycle Magazine and Columbia University Survey determined Tennessee diverted 4.64% Waste and ranked 7th from the bottom among states. Tennessee claims nearly 50% diversion counting landfilled construction waste. .(Tennessean 22 April 2012 http:/tn.go/environment/swm/ppo/rules_0400_11_01_09_and_10_redline2.pdf APPROVED—State Board 7 August 2012 These methods to count solid waste are in the statute Each of these Regulations, except for “Source Reduction of...

On The Road to Zero Waste

On The Road to Zero Waste Success es and Less ons from around the World Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives Global Anti-Incinerator Alliance GAIA Secretariat Unit 330, Eagle Court Condominium 26 Matalino Street Barangay Central Quezon City, Philippines Telefax: +632-436 4733 Email: info@no-burn.org GAIA Europe Email: info_eu@no-burn.org GAIA Latin America c/o Observatorio Latinoamericano de Conflictos Ambientales (OLCA) Alonso Ovalle 1618 Of. A. Santiago, Chile Email: magdalena@no-burn.org GAIA U.S. & Canada 1958 University Avenue Berkeley, CA 94704 USA Phone: +1-510-883-9490 Fax: +1-510-883-9493 Email: monica@no-burn.org GAIA is a worldwide alliance of more than 650 grassroots groups, non-governmental organizations, and individuals in over 90 countries whose ultimate vision is a just, toxic-free world without incineration. Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives Global Anti-Incinerator Alliance Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives Global Anti-Incinerator Alliance Authors and Contributors Cecilia Allen is a sociologist active in environmental health and justice organizations with a particular interest in waste management; she was part of GAIA’s coordination team for eight years. Virali Gokaldas has a background in environmental science and business management with a focus on the green economy; she advises social ventures and nonprofits on operational improvements and growth of new programs, products, and services. Anne Larracas has been with GAIA in the Manila office for six years. She helps coordinate work for zero waste and against incineration in the Asia-Pacific region. Leslie Ann Minot, GAIA’s Development Director since 2010, has been fundraising since 1996 for international, national, and local human and civil rights, LGBT, health, environmental, and youth organizations and projects. Maeva Morin, a researcher with expertise in solid waste management, consulted for GAIA in Buenos Aires from...

AVAILABLE AND EMERGING TECHNOLOGIES

Office of Air and Radiation June 2011 AVAILABLE AND EMERGING TECHNOLOGIES FOR REDUCING GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSIONS FROM MUNICIPAL SOLID WASTE LANDFILLS 2 Available and Emerging Technologies for Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Municipal Solid Waste Landfills Prepared by the Sector Policies and Programs Division Office of Air Quality Planning and Standards U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Research Triangle Park, North Carolina 27711 June 2011 3 Table of Contents Abbreviations and Acronyms ……………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 4 I. Introduction ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 6 II. Purpose of this Document ………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 6 III. Description of Municipal Solid Waste Landfills ………………………………………………………………………… 6 IV. Summary of Control Measures ………………………………………………………………………………………………… 8 V. Available Control Technologies for GHG Emissions from MSW Landfills ………………………………….. 10 A. LFG Collection Efficiency Improvement ……………………………………………………………………………… 10 B. LFG Control Devices …………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 12 C. Increase of CH4 Oxidation ………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 17 D. Economic Analysis ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 18 VI. Bioreactor Landfill Systems ………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 20 VII. Management Practices …………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 21 EPA Contact…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 22 References ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 23 Appendix A ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 26 Calculations to Estimate Cost Effectiveness for CO2e Reduced ……………………………………………………….. 26 4 Abbreviations and Acronyms ADEME French Agency for Environmental and Energy Management ATSDR Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry BAAQMD Bay Area Air Quality Management District BACT Best available control technology Btu British thermal units CCAR California Climate Action Registry CCTP Climate Change Technology Program CEC California Energy Commission CH4 Methane CHP Combined heat and power CNG Compressed natural gas CO Carbon monoxide CO2 Carbon dioxide CO2e Carbon dioxide equivalents CPTR Cost Incurred Per Metric Ton of Reduced CO2e DER Distributed Energy Resource GHG Greenhouse gas HAP Hazard air pollutants H2 Hydrogen H2S Hydrogen sulfide kW Kilowatts lb Pound LFG Landfill...

BURNT Solid Waste Strategy

BURNT IMPROVING THE ENVIRONMENT THROUGH CITIZEN INVOLVEMENT WITH GOVERNMENT, BUSINESS, AND ACADEMIA May 2012 BURNT Solid Waste Strategy BURNT has a very specific proposal for reforming solid waste in Tennessee based on the content of solid waste, how to create jobs managing solid waste as a raw material, and facts. The State of Tennessee strategy of landfill, landfill, landfill is based on power, influence, not caring about hurting people with pollution, and $1 billion a year which multi-national garbage companies whisk out of Tennessee every year. Why do the leaders support multi-national corporations shipping $1 billion a year out of state? BURNT PROPOSES A.) Compost—with source separation of food waste (14% of waste), yard waste (13%), and non-recycled paper (25%) we can compost a significant portion of the waste stream–50% of the waste!! And, it is incremental—people in rural areas (even rural areas of big cities) throw their food scraps out for the animals…Tennessee has a lot of obese raccoons suffering from high blood pressure and diabetes because the raccoons eat the food we eat. B.) Construction waste—is 20% of the waste stream and it is the most recyclable and re-usable of solid waste. Tennessee, a lover of landfills, is the only state in the country which credits landfilled construction waste as recycled. This loop-hole was engineered by TDEC in 1996 to help counties reach the anemic 25% diversion goal created in 1991. DISCUSSION Landfill companies in Tennessee generate $1 billion a year. If they feel pressure, they will argue compostable waste is needed to feed their methane mining operations. We can mine methane much better by composting waste....
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Protecting our Environment: Land, Air, and Water Pollution

Protecting our Environment: Land, Air, and Water Pollution Middle Tennessee treasures its beautiful open spaces. Our landscape is part of our history. We must be diligent to ensure that it remains part of our future. With 1,000,000 new people projected to call Middle Tennessee home by 2035, there is no question that we must plan for conservation the way we currently plan for development, and that we must protect our natural assets by reducing Middle Tennessee’s levels of air, land, and water pollution. By supporting those Middle Tennessee nonprofits specializing in environmental initiatives – and by each pledging to live a “greener” lifestyle – we can start to make a difference. Whether we live in an apartment or home, these small choices can help create a healthier, cleaner and safer environment for everyone. Combating pollution in our area will take more than picking up discarded trash from the sides of our roadways; it means looking to the water and air, as well as the land. Davidson County alone hosts approximately 2,500 total miles of streams. Of these, an astounding 350 miles were placed on the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) list of “impaired” waters in 2009 – meaning that pollution has altered properties of the water to the extent that it does not meet quality standards and cannot meet its designated uses. Pollutants such as siltation and suspended solids are two of the leading causes of impairment in Tennessee streams; these impact streams by eliminating habitat, blocking light penetration, and smothering aquatic life. Our dependence on cars results in ground-level ozone and particle pollution which affects human health and well-being...

Happy 50th (Antiseptic) Birthday

This concerned the refusal of Metro government to acknowledge in the “50th Anniversary Celebration”  the two major citizen efforts—BURNT and Bells Bend which fought off a landfill and a major development.  We talk about the impact of an expanded incinerator… BURNT THE METRO COUNCIL 18 JUNE 2013 P. O. BOX 128555 NASHVILLE [37212] BURNT.TN@GMAIL.COM A MEMBER OF 615.327. 8515 www.burnt-tn.org COMMUNITY SHARES Happy 50th (Antiseptic) Birthday A Senior Member of Mayor’s Staff “BURNT and Bell’s Bend Are Not Part of OUR History” If not for BURNT [and the Metro Council], we would have a $200 million incinerator and a $100 million garbage processor as downtown anchors. Bells Bend led valiant fights in 1990’s against a landfill and more recently against a mega-development. These multiple year efforts are not part of Metro history because there is no raised stage, local leaders praising progress, and cheering dutiful citizens. Part of BURNT’s culture is the major changes we led in Nashville. We formed in December 1988 to stop the expansion of the downtown incinerator—a $200 million project. We stopped a $100 million garbage separator for Rutledge Hill. We stopped the Rendering Plant, and a liquid hazardous waste processor in Cockrill Bend. At every step we worked with citizens and neighborhoods, government, and business. . SOME LESSONS –If the incinerator expanded and the garbage separator built, Nashville would have 250 garbage trucks making round trips every day. No New York Times article as an ‘IT’ city…instead articles in Waste News —the incinerator decision came down to Councilman Guy Bates who had the votes but delayed indefinitely because he said “this is not the time...